NATO and the West Just Became Irrelevant – F. William Engdahl
by F. William Engdahl, Journal-NEO
The dual summits that took place in Russia’s Ufa beginning 9 July were anything but routine. In fact it may be seen by future historians as a signal event that marked the definitive decline of the global hegemony of European civilization including North America. This is no small event in human history. It’s the most significant shift in relative global economic relations since the Fourth Crusade in 1204 when the Republic of Venice emerged as a world power following their brutal, disgraceful capture and sacking of Constantinople, marking the demise of the Byzantine Empire.
First a look at what transpired. Russia was host to two overlapping summits of emerging alternative organizations, the annual meeting of the BRICS nations as well as the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The larger significance has been all but entirely blacked out by western mainstream media such as the New York Times.
First we look at the results from the BRICS meeting where Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are the five member states. The BRICS formally put their New Development Bank (NDB) into operation. It has world headquarters in Shanghai, China’s banking and financial center with a branch in South Africa to serve the African region.
It is explicitly operating as an alternative to the post-1945 domination of the IMF and World Bank, the heart of Washington’s Dollar System. It has member contributions of $50 billion for infrastructure projects mainly, but not exclusively, in the BRICS states. As well it has created a $100 billion financial defense fund, a so-called Contingent Reserves Arrangement, in event of speculative attacks such as were launched by Washington with the Soros Quantum Fund in 1997 to destroy the independent Asian Tiger economies.
The NDB bank is in business one year after the last BRICS summit agreed to its creation, and the meeting announced that first approved infrastructure projects will begin at the beginning of 2016. That’s an impressive testament to the mutual will to create an alternative to the IMF and World Bank, both of the latter controlled by Washington where they are headquartered. Notably BRICS agreed for the first time to institute formal cooperation with the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
As well they agreed to meet the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)–Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
SCO adds major security dimension
For its part, the nations of the SCO–Shanghai Cooperation Organization–in addition to formally admitting both India and Pakistan, agreed to increase its role combating terrorism in the region. The SCO was established in 2001 originally to settle border conflicts between China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in the years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is now undergoing an organic metamorphosis into something quite different and, in combination with China’s One Belt, One Road New Economic Silk Road high-speed rail network crisscrossing Russia and all Eurasia, potentially the kernel of an economic region whose growth over the next century and more can pale anything the debt-bloated OECD economies of the west are capable of.
This year the SCO members admitted Pakistan and India as full members, a move that undercuts some seventy years of Anglo-American geopolitics on the Indian Subcontinent by bringing the two bitter enemies into a forum dedicated to resolving border conflicts diplomatically. The Ufa BRICS declaration also stressed the importance of reaffirming the UN Charter and condemned unilateral military intervention, a clear reference to guess who?
That enlargement to include India and Pakistan into the Eurasian SCO has huge implications for China’s New Economic Silk Road high-speed rail infrastructure network across all Eurasia as well as potential gas and oil pipeline routes in the region. Significantly, for an Obama Administration that wants to pit Iran against Russia and China with the signing of the latest nuclear Geneva 6-power deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attended the BRICS/SCO summits and held private talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tehran will likely join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization after the embargo is withdrawn, perhaps as early as 2016, something that will give the SCO a major presence in the Middle East geographically.
With the planned lifting now of US economic sanctions on Iran, this could mean a huge economic deepening of the Eurasian economic space from Shanghai to St. Petersburg to Teheran and beyond, the nightmare scenario of US geopolitical actors like Zbigniew Brzezinski or Henry Kissinger.
Notably, the BRICS final declaration also pledged greater cooperation on combating terrorism and dealing with security problems of member states. This overlaps the Russia-initiated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), created in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union to provide some semblance of security from rampant CIA monkey business using veterans of the CIA’s Afghani Mujahideen to “stir up” (to use Brzezinski’s term for it) the peoples of former Soviet states with large Muslim populations across Central Asia, especially Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.
Today, the CSTO is emerging as a far more serious organization and a means by which Russia can legitimately provide direct security expertise to weaker states inside the Eurasian Economic Union such as Kyrgyzstan or Armenia, both of whom have been targets of new US-sponsored Color Revolutions to spread chaos across the emerging Eurasian economic space.
What is notable about the joint BRICS-SCO-Eurasian Economic Union summit hosted by Russia’s Putin in Ufa, a city of some one million at the foot of the Ural mountain range near to Kazakhstan, is not only the degree of harmonizing that is taking place among the three vast organizations. It is also the fact that Russia uniquely is a member of all three, facilitating the harmonization of the three in terms of strategic goals. Moreover the member states have everything and everyone necessary to be fully independent of the dollar world and the dying EU with its misbegotten Euro sham.
As The Saker pointed out in a recent perceptive piece, “the full list of BRICS/SCO members will now look like this: Brazil , China , India , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Pakistan , Russia , South Africa , Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The BRICS/SCO will thus include 2 Permanent UN Security Council, 4 countries with nuclear weapons (only 3 NATO countries have nukes!), it’s members account for a full third of the world’s land area: they produce 16 trillion dollars in GDP and have a population of 3 billion people or half of the global world population.”
A new architecture of Eurasia is being formed, something which, were they of a mind to, the nations of the EU, above all Germany, France, Italy, could hugely benefit from cooperating with. Yet, what is the response of Washington and her “vassals” in European NATO, to use the term of Brzezinski?
The NATO Washington response
The response of Washington and NATO to all this is a bleak, pathetic contrast to put it mildly.
The new Obama nominee to become US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, declared Russia to be America’s greatest threat in his Congressional testimony some days ago. Conveniently forgetting all about the “existential threat” from ISIS, an organization US and Israeli intelligence brought into being to spread their chaos, Dunford declared, “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia.” The alarming thing is there was scarcely a peep of protest aside from blog remarks by retired Congressman Ron Paul and a few others. The tom-toms of bellicosity are pounding louder along the Potomac these days.
The war rage in Washington goes deeper than just one general. The Pentagon just released its Military Strategy of the United States, 2015. There the focus has clearly shifted away from “non-state actors” such as ISIS as being the greatest threat to the US and refocuses on “state actors” that are “challenging international norms.” The Pentagon strategy document goes on to name Russia, China, Iran, North Korea as the greatest threats. What they do not admit is the “threat” is to the continued sole Superpower hegemony of a United States that insists its will is the only valid one as self-appointed guardian of “democracy” and “human rights,” their New World Order as George Bush senior termed it in 1991.
On the economic front, what is emerging across the vast expanse of Eurasia is the greatest infrastructure investment in real physical infrastructure, which in turn will create new markets where today the remote regions of Siberia or Mongolia remain virtually untouched. By contrast, Obama’s Washington, a once-hegemon that has lost its soul, can only offer the US-dominated secret free trade pact, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), for Asian states absent China, as a way to contain china economically, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that offers the same geopolitical dead end for the economies of the EU. Both trade proposals are a desperate attempt by Washington strategists and their corporate backers in agribusiness such as Monsanto or the pharmaceutical industry to dominate world trade and finance.
Just as an individual can lose themselves through a trauma, so it’s possible for entire nations, even nations as large and apparently mighty as the United States of America, to lose its soul. Once a nation loses its soul, it loses its ability to do good, to be good. That tragically describes America today. The process has been a slow-motion rot from within, much as the Roman Empire in the Third and Fourth centuries AD. The rot has proceeded over decades.
There were many seminal events we as a people let pass without acting. One such over the past century or more was the US Congress’ surrender of the Constitutional responsibility to control the issue of money, handing it over to a private cabal of Wall Street bankers who named it the Federal Reserve. Another was the perfidy of our turning on our wartime allies in Russia and making them the “new Hitler,” so that Nelson Rockefeller’s national security state, complete with a CIA, could be built to justify the devaluation of the essence of the US Constitution. Another was the decision, well, perhaps you can fill in the blanks there are so many, each seemingly minor, but as a cumulative totality toxic to genuine respect for human life and individual freedom. Then, following the events of September 11,2001 we as a nation, crippled by our fear, stood by silently as the Bill of Rights went into the paper shredder of George W. Bush with the misnamed Patriots Act and other police state laws.
Once a people as once-wonderful as the American people lose all that that made them good, it takes a conscious decision and determination to regain that goodness. The first essential step is to become conscious of what is bad in us as a people today. David Rockefeller or George H.W. Bush or Bill Gates or Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush did not do this. We did, and they merely took the use out of our action. There we must begin if we wish to take ourselves seriously again as a nation and as a people. Seeing ourselves as “victims” regardless of what or whoever is a dead end, literally.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.